On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture | Statement to the PC

A TV camera positioned in front of a backdrop with OSCE logos prior to a news conference at the Hofburg in Vienna. (OSCE, Mikhail Evstafiev)

On June 26, we marked the 29th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Today, I would like to affirm the United States’ abiding commitment to achieve a world without torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The United States stands in solidarity with victims of torture throughout the OSCE region, and around the world.

On his second day in office, President Obama issued an Executive Order reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the universal ban on torture. We have worked hard to match our words with actions. The United States has admitted past mistakes, and helped advance humane treatment safeguards through the clarification and codification of our obligations. Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has reinforced its conviction that it must never resort to torture.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for its tireless work to achieve the goals inscribed in the Convention Against Torture and in our shared OSCE commitments. ODIHR’s valuable work on combating torture makes us stronger and more secure.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna